Sharing's Caring

Thank you to everybody who has shared this blog. Sharing is the way these things work, otherwise I'm justing talking to myself. If you like what you read please tweet, Facebook or email it to your mates. The more people outside our agricultural circle we can reach the better. Don't forget to have a look at the other blogs I'm following too. Everyone has a story to tell.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Hell? No.

I was asked the other day by an opponent of the live trade how I justified sending our animals overseas. They’d read this blog and formed the opinion we look after our stock, but couldn’t understand why we continue to send them in light of all the bad news stories airing about lately. This was my reply.

Glad you liked it. That site is my hobby. The way I see it is this. I've been on a farm since I was born. I'm 32. In that time I've seen sheep burned alive by bushfire, washed away and drowned by downpours, I've come across ewes with their entrails hanging out after being mauled by wild dogs. I've seen a weaner lamb still alive after having his back leg eaten by a fox. I've seen lambs picked up and dropped from heights by wedge tailed eagles, then get up and try to flee with their backs broken. I've seen sheep literally shit themselves to death from salmonella or coccidious, despite our best efforts to treat them. I've seen the fattest, most healthiest looking sheep choke on their own kidneys as their bubble up through their throats from pulpy kidney disease, caused simply by being too greedy and getting a gutsful of feed. I've seen a nanny goat being rooted to death by ten or more billy goats in the wild. Kangaroos blind from disease slowly starving as they bash themselves to bits on trees and shrubs as they try to make their way to water. I've seen hordes of emus breed up in good years, only to starve to death in bad. And I'm only relatively young, so imagine what my parents and their parents have seen. If my sheep pass out in 5 - 10 seconds or worst case a minute from a poorly executed cull or slaughter, they may not be as lucky as those killed here, but tell you what, their fate would be my 2nd choice. Just cos you die naturally, doesn't mean you die well.

And that’s it in a nutshell. Knowing what I know about sheep, if the ships were the crammed Hell holes they are claimed to be, by the time the three week journey was over, the sheep would all be dead. And no customer is going to buy dead, or half starved, stressed and sick animals, especially at the price they’d be charged for them.

Yes, I would like all stock to be stunned. But having cut a few throats myself, and witnessed more than one Muslim family kill their own animals, I don’t have a problem with it. Other may disagree, as is their right, but that’s where I stand. We raise animals knowing full well they will end up on somebodies dinner plate.
In the last 16 months of banging away at the keyboard, not one person has been able to name me one other country that spends money on trying to improve welfare practises in overseas countries. 109 countries export live animals.But it seems more and more likely that the only one actively doing anything to better things over there is going to be the one not allowed to send anymore. Out of sight, out of mind I guess.

Give me half a day with some football footage and I could make you a video claiming that football (or any sport) is a brutal, horrific game that results in countless injuries and even the occasional death. None of the footage would be fake, and Michael Barlows broken leg last year would be the Pièce de résistance. Add in some sad, scary music, a few disgruntled ex-footballers and whammo. Who knows, I might even win a Walkley.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Bless you.

Day 1 - Place is looking pretty good right now, the winter has been okay, and looks like it’s not going to cut out too early. Next time I’m in town I’d better stock up on antihistamines, there’s a faint itch in the air already.

Day 3 - Doing a paddock tour while inspecting sheep. The wild radish is flowering nicely. Never did get to town.  Funny how the radish flowers block the radiator but not my nose. That’s running freely.

Day 4 - Going to town. Last night in bed elbowed Gemma’s head as I scratched my nose while asleep.  Need drugs and need them now. And an icepack. And flowers.

Through a haze of tears and snot explain to the young counter girl at the pharmacy that while the packet does say 24 hour relief, past years have proven that to be a furphy. Mildly annoyed when she refuses to sell me three different types of antihistamines at once.

After doing three separate runs into three separate chemists now know what it feels to be a meth maker seeking pseudoephedrine.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


Well bugger me, we got a response. The PR team was working overtime (at your expense, dear taxpayer) and managed to punch out a neat reply for most of Jo's first questions. I will give credit to where credit is due, Lee Rhiannon is on a hiding to nothing from us, and could've quite easily ignored it. We struggle to make as much noise as the activists, and getting our side in mainstream media had proved to be very difficult.

So. Below is the link to Lee's reply. But before you read it, I'd like you to get a drink. A few actually, we're going to play a little game I like to call Spotto. Each time you read the word cruel, horrible, horrendous, or the phrase "called for / call for," we yell "Spotto!"and drink. Ready? See you on the other side.... shtill uprightsh?

Seriously though. I'm not surprised at it to be honest, pretty much every argument for bannng the trade is there, and while it looks good, the substance is lacking in alot of areas. I'm not going to bore you all to tears with an in depth analysis, but I can sum it up in two words. Bull. And shit.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Don't hold your breath

Well, live export is back in the headlines again. Another bad news story, though this time not even the most imaginative opponent could've thought this one up. Apparently, after marching the feedlot staff out under police guard, a mob went in and culled 7000 or so sheep, sheep they claimed to have been infected with either scabby mouth, salmonella or anthrax. It's hard to be sure, cos the disease changed overnight as each one was cleared by independent tests.

It's a bloody mess, and to top it of, reports say sheep were clubbed to death, buried alive and stabbed. If true, and going of Wellards comments sounds like it is, it's wrong. Simple. Personally I think it's a problem of our own making through trying to tell foreign countries what they can and can't do with animals they've purchased. I think the full story behind this has more to do with payback and saving face than any disease. But that doesn't help those sheep. And of course, it's brought the anti live export community out in full force.

One such person is Lee Rhiannon, Greens Senator for NSW. Now it's long been the Green policy to ban live exports. Along with forestry, fishing, mining, and basically anything else that actually produces something and doesn't involve rainbows and unicorn poop. She's even started up her own facebook page to push her cause. I can't say it's been a raving success just yet, except for this one thing.